Waterloo alumni are making significant contributions to their industries, local communities and the world at large. The Alumni Awards recognize exceptional individuals and their efforts to build a better world.
Working tirelessly to advance important causes, this year’s award recipients are tech experts, researchers, advocates and business leaders — each one making their own unique impact.
Faculty of Arts
Katherine Hay (BA '98): Alumni Achievement Award
As president and CEO of Kids Help Phone, Katherine (Kathy) Hay drives the strategic direction, innovation imperative and culture of Canada’s only national, 24/7 bilingual e-mental health service for young people. Under Kathy’s leadership, Kids Help Phone counsellors and crisis responders had over 9 million interactions with youth across Canada since 2019.
Prior to joining Kids Help Phone, Kathy was president and CEO of Women’s College Hospital Foundation where she advanced the health of women across Canada and achieved record levels of support. Her success in this role led to her being named one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence in 2017. Most recently, she was named a 2021 Social Change Award Winner for National Impact.
Formerly a banker, Kathy was also CEO of Credit Valley Hospital Foundation and has also held senior roles at the University of Toronto, the University of Guelph, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Susan Chang (BA '17): Young Alumni Award
Excelling in econometrics during her undergraduate studies at Waterloo, Susan Shu Chang quickly built on her interests and established a career in applied machine learning and game development. These are two strands of her astonishing range of expertise in the tech space. Today, just four years since she graduated with her Honours BA, she is a principal data scientist at Clearco, a finance-tech company that provides growth capital for online businesses. But that’s certainly not all: Susan is also the founder of Quill Game Studios, which creates narrative-focused games, selling 10,000 copies of her debut game within six months of its release. Already sharing her deep knowledge and expertise, you can find Susan speaking internationally at conferences such as PyCon US, Red Hat Developer Day, Toronto Machine Learning Summit, and more.
School of Accounting and Finance
Benjie Thomas (BA ’98, PDAcc ’98): Alumni Achievement Award
Benjie is the Canadian managing partner for KPMG’s Advisory practice. Benjie is responsible for the firm’s Advisory business, comprised of over 2,000 professionals across six geographies and three business units: Deal Advisory, Management Consulting and Risk Consulting.
As an adviser, Benjie has more than 20 years of experience assisting Canada’s most prominent private equity funds and strategic buyers. Benjie has advised on some of Canada's largest transactions, with a consistent track record of providing sought-after advice and innovative solutions to create success. With a history of building strong, trusted advisor relationships with clients, Benjie demonstrates a vibrant personal approach as a leader that inspires and engages people and teams.
As a University of Waterloo alumnus, Benjie is committed to programs and priority projects that are essential to the school’s mission and success. Benjie established an endowment fund that annually provides three scholarships to students in the School of Accounting and Finance.
Nilofer Ahmed (BAFM ’12, MAcc ’12): Young Alumni Award
Nilofer Ahmed is the senior director of business and consumer strategy at Motif FoodWorks, a food technology company focused on plant-based food solutions. Nilofer was previously a project leader at Boston Consulting Group, focused on the retail grocery industry across the globe. In 2015, Nilofer co-founded her own plant-based frozen food company, Fire Ox Foods, which operates in the Northeast US today. She is passionate about food trends & improving global food systems. Nilofer received her MBA from the Yale School of Management in 2016 and her BAFM and MAcc from the University of Waterloo in 2012.
Outside of work, Nilofer is a strong advocate & mentor for women in the workplace. She is a mentor with EverQuote’s leadership program & a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the latest trends in food & is excited to continue pursuing innovation in the food space.
Faculty of Engineering
Samuel R. Mazin (BASc ’02): Alumni Achievement Medal, Professional Achievement
Armed with a degree he earned at Waterloo, Samuel Mazin (BASc ’02, computer engineering) completed his PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford University. While at Stanford, his research focused on the design of a novel X-ray computed tomography (CT) system, resulting in several journal papers and a patent, as well as the Joel Drillings Award from the American Heart Association.
He developed the first biology-guided radiation therapy system that targets multiple tumors simultaneously with radiation and then co-founded California-based RefleXion Medical to commercialize his technology. His work, described as ground-breaking, has enhanced the ability of medical professionals to treat patients with various forms of cancer and various levels of metastatic disease.
One of his medal nominators from Stanford, Yossi Feinberg, the Adams distinguished professor of management and professor of economics, says Samuel has developed a reputation as a leading international expert in electrical engineering as it relates to creating and developing new and unique radiology devices. “His research has led to a patent-pending innovation which combines positron emission tomography (PET) scan technology with radio-surgery and a novel, x-ray computed tomography (CT) system which resulted in a patent and several journal publications,” says Yossi. “These achievements rank him among the world’s very best in the field.”
Olga Pawluczyk (BASc ’98): Alumni Achievement Medal, Professional Achievement
Olga Pawluczyk (BASc ’98, systems design engineering) describes running P&P Optica as her dream job because it combines many of her interests — engineering, medical imaging and problem solving. The company is a leader in advancing the field of spectroscopy by developing and testing multispectral and hyperspectral imaging technology for applications in the medical, recycling, oil and gas, space exploration, and food industries.
Launched in 1995 by her father, Romuald, Olga joined P&P Optica in 2000 and became its CEO five years later. The company built its first spectrometer in 2003 for the Ontario Cancer Institute. The institute has since purchased several more systems that are used to identify the risks of breast cancer.
Recently, P&P Optica created a Smart Imaging System for assessing food quality and safety through identifying foreign objects at line speed in real time. The technology has been tested in leading food plants throughout Canada.
Olga says her Waterloo Engineering experience has been invaluable to her career as CEO of P&P Optica. “The group work and the camaraderie of systems design really prepared me for running a company right now,” she says.
Glen W. Bandiera (BASc ’90): Alumni Achievement Medal, Community Service
Skills Glen Bandiera (BASc ’90, systems design engineering) learned as a University of Waterloo student over 30 years ago still guide him in his career today with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. As the college’s executive director of specialty education for the past four months, Glen often calls on the knowledge he gained as a Waterloo Engineering student and later as an emergency room physician and director.
After completing his Waterloo degree in 1990, Glen attended McMaster University where he graduated as a physician with a specialty in trauma and emergency medicine in 1998. He later completed a master of education degree at the University of Toronto.
For 10 years he worked as a staff emergency physician and trauma team leader at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, one of only two trauma centres serving over seven million people. He then completed two five-year terms as chief of emergency medicine at St. Michael’s. For his last seven years at St. Michael’s, he concurrently served as associate dean, postgraduate medical education at the University of Toronto where he holds the rank of full professor. As a physician, he not only wanted to make a difference in the operating room but outside it as well.
Through his many research, academic leadership roles, and work with accreditation reform, Glen has pursued his passion for improving the education and preparation for practice for all specialty physicians in Canada. He has also contributed immensely to advancing hospital process improvement. “One of the things I hope the next generation in medicine and as well as engineering come away with is an appreciation for societal need and their role in it,” Glen says.
Rahul Udasi (BASc ’14) and Manmeet Maggu (BASc ’13): Team Alumni Achievement Medal
Manmeet Maggu (BASc ’13, mechatronics engineering) was beginning his fourth-year engineering Capstone Design project when he found out his nephew Praneit had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and would never be able to walk. He teamed up with his classmate and friend Rahul Udasi (BASc ’14, mechatronics engineering) to build something to help Praneit. Using their mechatronics engineering background, they developed a prototype of the Trexo exoskeleton and then travelled to Parneit’s home in Delhi, India to have him test it out.
While it didn’t work initially, the then students fixed the issues and watched as Manmeet’s nephew took his first steps. “That still is the proudest moment in my life and it became the inspiration for Trexo Robotics,” says Manmeet. “We believe that walking is a human right and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
As co-founders of Trexo Robotics launched in 2016, Maggu and Udasi continue to develop wearable robotics custom built to help children with physical disabilities and mobility issues walk, often for the first time.
Nashin Kelash Mahtani (BAS ’14, MArch ’15): Young Alumni Achievement Medal
As the director of the Indonesian nonprofit Yayasan Peta Bencana, Nashin Mahtani (BAS ’14, architectural studies; MArch '15, architecture) leads the development of software to support disaster relief. Launched in 2017, Peta Bencana, which means "disaster map" in Indonesian, uses AI-assisted technology to monitor social media and instant messaging posts by residents in disaster-hit areas in Indonesia. After filtering through the community-provided information, the system displays verified flood, fire or other disaster details on a map.
“It can be used by any variety of people and agencies for coordination through a free, transparent and open-source framework that doesn’t require anyone to learn a new application,” says Nashin. “They can simply use the same social media channels they are already using.” The software also is being adapted to be used in relief efforts in the Philippines.
Nashin's written, design and film work has been widely published in numerous journals and exhibited across various international venues. A frequent speaker and presenter, she continues to be engaged as a guest lecturer with schools and universities around the world, including the University of Waterloo. Her many accolades include being recognized as one of this year’s Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 for her contributions to the region's social issues.
Faculty of Environment
Derek J. Coleman (PhD ’74): Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Derek Coleman is a provincial trailblazer in environmental planning who was instrumental in providing studies that helped establish many of the first environmentally significant areas and led to the protection of many important features across the province.
He is the founder of one of the first environmental consulting firms in Ontario dedicated to environmental planning and, throughout his prestigious 50-year career, he has completed more than 1,000 projects in seven provinces. A charter member of the first Ecological and Environmental Advisory Committee in the province, he also served on the Cambridge EAC for 10 years.
A dedicated philanthropist, Derek supports many environmental, educational and social initiatives through his Ages Foundation including the Cambridge Stewardship Initiative, the rare Charitable Research Reserve, the Canadian Institute of Planners’ Planning Student Trust Fund and the University of Waterloo.
Maureen G. Reed (PhD ’91): Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Maureen Reed is an internationally renowned scholar whose research, academic service and teaching focus on the social dimensions of sustainability, gender relations and diversity, collaborative environmental governance and community engagement. She spearheaded important research on gender and forestry in the global north and was one of the first academics to incorporate feminist theory and gender-based analyses into sustainability science.
She holds a prestigious UNESCO Chair in Biocultural Diversity, Sustainability, Reconciliation and Renewal at the University of Saskatchewan and leads a lab that explores and advances models of sustainability and collaborative governance with practitioners working in UNESCO Biosphere Regions (BRs), Model Forests (MFs) and forest-based and Indigenous communities.
A Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society since 2010, Maureen has received numerous awards including the 2019 Canadian Association of Geographers Award for Scholarly Distinction in Geography, the 2017 University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Researcher Award and the 2016 YWCA-Saskatoon, Women of Distinction, Lifetime Achievement Award.
Eric Kennedy (BKI ’12): Young Alumni Inspiration Award
A member of the first graduating class of the Faculty of Environment’s Bachelor of Knowledge Integration (KI) program, Eric Kennedy is a disaster and emergency management expert whose work addressing the management of natural hazards and socio-environmental crises in Canada and across the world has been recognized and supported through numerous fellowships, scholarships and awards, including the Equinox Fellowship with the Waterloo Global Science Initiative, for which he was selected as a top 30 leader on global education.
Eric has led several initiatives supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response, tracking the social and human impacts of the coronavirus outbreak and advising federal and provincial government policy.
Passionate about mobilizing research to support community needs, Eric founded and directs the Forum on Science, Policy, and Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building non-partisan public service capacity in Canada. Through this group, he runs Science Outside the Lab, a training program for students seeking to learn how to connect their academic interests with public service opportunities.
Anne-Marie Marais (BES ’95): Friend of the Faculty Impact Award
Since graduating, Anne-Marie has worked tirelessly to keep her class connected to one another and to the university, organizing class reunions, sharing campus news and promoting the university to prospective students. In 2018, she became the Faculty of Environment’s first official Class Champion. The following year, she successfully led a class fundraising campaign to establish the Planning Class of 1995 Entrance Scholarship, helping her class leave a lasting legacy of support for the next generation of aspiring planning students.
Anne-Marie was co-lead of the Toronto Alumni Chapter, helping to launch the university’s largest alumni chapter. After serving a two-year term, she stayed on to serve as leadership advisor to ensure the chapter’s continued success.
Anne-Marie traces her love of the university to her very first days as an undergrad — crediting her experiences, both in and out of the classroom, for helping to shape the person she is today.
MHBC Planning: Friend of the Faculty Impact Award
Founded by planning alumnus, Ian MacNaughton (BA ’68, MA ’71), MHBC Planning Urban Design & Landscape Architecture (MHBC) has been supporting the University of Waterloo, the Faculty of Environment, the School of Planning and its students for nearly 50 years.
Since 1972, MHBC has hired hundreds of University of Waterloo co-op students and numerous alumni as full-time staff. Collectively, MHBC’s members fund scholarships, sponsor students to attend the annual University of Waterloo Planning Alumni of Toronto (UWPAT) gala dinner, mentor students at leadership events and through the ENV Connect networking platform, provide guest lectures that bring the application of industry knowledge to the classroom.
In 2020, MHBC created the flagship MHBC Award for Black and Indigenous students at the School of Planning to make planning education more equitable and the planning profession more diverse.
Faculty of Health
Natasha Lane (BSc ’09, MSc ’11): Alumni Achievement Award
Dr. Natasha Lane has made outstanding contributions to the field of geriatrics and is admired by her colleagues for her integrity, leadership and collaborative spirit. Natasha completed her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science (2009) with the Faculty of Science, and her Master of Science in Health Studies and Gerontology (2011) with the Faculty of Health. She has additionally received a PhD in Health Services Research (2016), and a Doctor of Medicine (2020) from the University of Toronto.
In her years since graduation, Natasha has maintained her close ties with the Faculty of Health while serving the global community with her expertise. In 2014, Natasha won the prestigious $150,000 Vanier Scholarship to fund her work studying disability in long-term care residents; this work has been widely cited and won numerous international awards. From 2012 to 2016, she mentored undergraduate medical students on projects to improve infection control in hospitals throughout Kathmandu, Nepal. More recently, Natasha co-authored the first Canadian report on COVID-19’s impact on long-term care residents in Canada. She is currently a physician in Internal Medicine with a research program focused on improving the care of older adults with geriatric depression, delirium and dementia.
In recognition of her contributions to supporting global health and well-being through her research and embodying the academic excellence and community engagement the University of Waterloo stands by, Natasha Lane is the recipient of the 2021 Faculty of Health Alumni Achievement Award.
Marc Lafleur (BSc ’14): Young Alumni Award
Marc Lafleur is an innovative entrepreneur who has applied his business acumen and education toward developing a startup that has the potential to improve public nutrition. He is the CEO and co-founder of truLOCAL — an online marketplace that connects consumers to local suppliers that provide clean, locally sourced meat products. Marc is a graduate of the Faculty of Health and completed his Bachelor of Science in Health Studies in 2014.
Apart from truLOCAL’s ongoing contribution to supporting healthier communities, truLOCAL has also provided e-commerce solutions to farmers and producers who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to sell their products online. Furthermore, Marc has consistently been involved in community initiatives, including giving back to frontline workers, donating to the local food bank and, most recently, starting a $20,000 grant for Black and POC (people of colour) entrepreneurs.
Marc has also volunteered his time to record a podcast about resilience and finding your own path after graduation. His perseverance and dedication are two consistent attributes that contribute to his success today.
Marc is admired by his colleagues, friends and family for his constant hustle and dedication toward creating initiatives that give back and support his community. In recognition of his impact, Marc Lafleur is the recipient of the 2021 Faculty of Health Young Alumni Award.
Faculty of Science
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (PhD ’11): Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. The author of The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, she is also a columnist for New Scientist and Physics World. Her research in theoretical physics focuses on cosmology, neutron stars and dark matter. She also does research in Black feminist science, technology and society studies. Nature recognized her as one of 10 people who shaped science in 2020, and Essence magazine has recognized her as one of “15 Black Women Who Are Paving the Way in STEM and Breaking Barriers.” A cofounder of Particles for Justice, she received the 2017 LGBT+ Physicists Acknowledgement of Excellence Award for her contributions to improving conditions for marginalized people in physics and the 2021 American Physical Society Edward A. Bouchet Award for her contributions to particle cosmology. Originally from East L.A., she divides her time between the New Hampshire Seacoast and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Latif Nanji (BSc ’07): Young Alumni Award
Latif is the co-founder and CEO of Roadmunk SaaS platform for product management and a Deloitte Fast 50 and Fast 500 company that is globally remote and serves more than 3,000 customers including Amazon, Visa, Nike, Adobe and Morgan Stanley.
Before founding Roadmunk, Latif co-founded Pokerspace, an online social network for poker players, and spent five years working as product manager at Miovision working on intelligent traffic infrastructure globally. Latif was also the co-founder of Pragmatic CEO, a Toronto meetup group for tech entrepreneurs.
He is currently the host of the product-to-product podcast which has more than eight seasons and has grown a community of nearly 5,000 product leaders tuning in across the globe. Each season, Latif sits down with the best and brightest from leading companies like Reddit, Dropbox, Hinge and more.
When he’s not thinking about product and design, he can be found rock climbing, writing about design, travel and start-ups, immersing himself in historical science and stoicism, practicing meditation and learning Spanish.
Julia Imanoff (BSc ’06): Young Alumni Award
Julia Imanoff is a clinician, educator, researcher, and entrepreneur. An Advanced Practice Nurse with a specialty in perinatal nursing, Imanoff has worked with families for over a decade to support their transitions into parenthood.
As a doctoral student in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary, Julia is exploring women's experience of psychologically traumatic births and the effect on parent-child/family relationships.
Julia is also the co-founder of nurse-led social enterprise COLO Families, which offers parenting programs and services to create healthier, more connected families from the start. With her strong leadership capacity as chief executive officer, Julia plans to continue to grow this enterprise in ways that will benefit parental confidence, family relationships, and child health outcomes.
In her many roles, Julia has continued to work towards her goal of creating meaningful, sustainable, and positive change in the world.
Curiato: Alumni Team Award
Curiato was founded by Moazam Khan (BSc ’16, MBET ’17), Zied Etleb (BSc ’16, MBET ’17) and Mattew Sefati (BSc ’17).
Moazam Khan graduated with distinction from both the Faculty of Science (BSc ’16) and Faculty of Engineering (MBET ’17) at the University of Waterloo. During his time at Waterloo, Moazam noticed the rise of IoT and envisioned a future of automation and prediction in healthcare. Along with Zied Etleb and Matthew Sefati, Moazam co-Founded Curiato — a patented smart bed cover powering a data-driven AI platform, hosting a variety of applications, targeting costly and time-consuming hospital acquired conditions. Moazam led Curiato from ideation and clinical trials to commercialization, securing venture capital and international partnerships to accelerate growth. As a student, Moazam also invented a low infrared vein visualization device and workflow automation tools for physician offices, as well as co-Founded Waterloo’s very first healthcare hackathon. Moazam is also the recipient of the Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Award and firmly believes in the power of science to solve big problems, and has been serving as an advisor to numerous early-stage ventures, focusing on growth. He also served as Entrepreneur in Resident at an early-stage AI fund in San Jose, CA and as Mentor for digital health start ups at Founder’s Institute.
Zied Etleb is the co-Founder, director and product architect at Curiato — a digital healthcare company improving the quality of care by providing data driven decision support for a variety of hospital acquired conditions. Zied graduated with distinction from the University of Waterloo (BSc’16, MBET’17) and is the receipt of multiple awards and honors. At Waterloo, Zied was instrumental in co-founding the first healthcare hackathon, Hack4Health, as well as Innovation in Healthcare, a student society focusing on science-based solutions for big problems. Along with Matthew Sefati and Moazam Khan, Zied developed numerous inventions including a handheld portable vein visualization device, crime predicting software for law enforcement, natural language automation for family physician offices and IoT hubs for crowded urban spaces. He is the recipient of multiple honors including the Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Award and serves as a technical advisor for multiple early-stage ventures in Canada and North Africa.
Matthew Sefati is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Curiato, a digital health company on a mission to improve patient outcomes by transforming hospital beds into a platform of clinical insights. Matthew is a wartime entrepreneur who spent his career innovating in various sectors such as staffing, logistics and life sciences. At Waterloo Matthew developed a logistics routing platform which was then acquired by Network FOB, which was then transitioned to GlobalTranz. At Curiato, Matthew focused his efforts developing a coalition of some of the most prolific scientific and medical researchers, hospital administrators, engineers, government and industry partners to work on a joint vision of improving the status quo of healthcare. Matthew is a firm believer in leading from behind using a team-based approach involving people from multiple disciplines to create a more effective team to solve problems that matter.
School of Pharmacy
Rui Su (BSc ’18, PharmD ’18): Alumni Achievement Award
Rui Su is the co-founder, COO, and chief clinical officer at MedMe Health, a healthtech company committed to the advancement of pharmacy clinical services including the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in pharmacies across Canada. Rui holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Waterloo, has co-authored several nationally-accredited pharmacy programs, and also serves as a preceptor for PharmD students at University of Toronto and UWaterloo. She is especially interested in improving pharmacists involvement in patient care through innovative models of virtual and interdisciplinary care, and is currently authoring a series on Digital Health in Pharmacy.
Conrad Grebel University College
Ann L. Schultz (BA ’90): Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Pursuing a career in music education was a dream for Ann L. Schultz who was always passionate about making music. After finishing a degree in music at Grebel and the Waterloo, Ann completed a Bachelor of Education and began her teaching career at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate in 1991, becoming head of the music program there in 1997. Ann brought energy, passion and creativity to her role as a music teacher and choir director in a high school setting that had a strong tradition of music making. She spearheaded all school musicals, produced the choral recording Pieces, and participated in many choir festivals.
In 2013, she became Rockway’s Principal until retirement in December 2021. In that role, it was important for Ann to incorporate respect, active listening, collaboration, compassion, clear communication and inclusion into her leadership practice, and she remained committed to honoring Rockway's mission, vision and values.
St. Paul’s University College
Gary Foerster (BA ’76): Distinguished Alumni Award
In recognition of an exemplary career and service to community, St. Paul’s and Waterloo
Gary Foerster is president and co-founder of Sportswood Printing, a company supplying high-quality commercial, digital, wide-format print and graphic services to large and medium-sized companies and institutions across Canada.
Gary worked for Thomson Newspapers before pursuing his love of horse racing by joining The Canadian Sportsman magazine as editor in 1977. He later became a partner and publisher of the trade publication and was deeply involved in the racing industry for more than 35 years as an owner, breeder and publicist. In 1989, he helped create Sportswood Printing and remains active in the management and growth of the company.
Gary and his wife Val are long-time residents and active contributors to the community of Tillsonburg. Gary is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital and is also a past chair and volunteer for the Tillsonburg Helping Hand Food Bank.
Gary joined the St. Paul’s Board of Governors in 2013 and served as board chair from 2018 to 2020. Gary and Val contribute significantly to the St. Paul’s community through philanthropy and volunteerism.
Sepanta Dorri (MAcc ’97): Distinguished Alumni Award
In recognition of an exemplary career, dedication to profession and service to community
Sepanta Dorri is vice president, Corporate Development of Teck Resources where she is responsible for the identification and pursuit of external growth opportunities and for supporting internal growth initiatives.
She has held senior positions with Teranga Gold, Xstrata Nickel and the Metals and Mining Investment Banking group of Merrill Lynch Canada, where she participated in several global mining transactions including Freeport McMoran’s acquisition of Phelps Dodge, Goldcorp’s acquisition of Glamis Gold and Barrick Gold’s acquisition of Placer Dome.
In 2012, Sepanta was named one of Women Executive Network’s (WXN) Most Powerful Women in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category, which recognized women for being first in their field or for having major impact on it. She has actively led gender inclusiveness programmes in the workplace and continues to mentor female colleagues at Teck Resources. In 2020, Sepanta joined the board of Horizonte Minerals as a non-executive director, the first female director for Horizonte.
As a student Sepanta lived at St. Paul’s from 1991-1993 and was a member of Waterloo’s 1996 national champion women’s Cross-Country team.
Christina Hassan (BSc ’14, MPH ’16): Young Alumni Award
In recognition of leadership, volunteerism and lifelong learning
While completing her BSc in Health Studies, Christina Hassan spent a co-op term working in an administrative capacity with a university and hospital network in Uganda and tragically witnessed many women and babies die unnecessarily during delivery.
When she returned to campus, Christina joined St. Paul’s GreenHouse and eventually co-founded FullSoul Canada with her future husband Hyder. Drawing on their experiences as Rotarians, their educational backgrounds and the resources provided by GreenHouse Christina and Hyder built a team and raised funds to deliver medical kits and expertise to Ugandan maternal health clinics with the potential to prevent thousands of deaths annually.
Christina went on to complete a master’s degree in public health at Waterloo, followed by a law degree at University of Calgary and is now an associate with VanderLeek Law in Calgary specializing in estate law.
Her philanthropic work and volunteerism have led Christina to be recognized with many awards including: Faculty of Health Young Alumni Award 2015, Avenue Magazine Calgary top 40 under 40, Rotary International United Nations People of Action Young Innovator Award, YMCA International Peace Medallion and Terry Fox Humanitarian Award.
Sheila Ball (BES ’12): Young Alumni Award
In recognition of leadership, volunteerism and lifelong learning
After graduating from Waterloo with a BES in International Development, Sheila Ball completed a specialized MSc in Hydro-Informatics and Water Management jointly offered by five European universities. She has built a career as a water resources specialist researching, modelling and consulting on issues related to sustainable water resource management. She currently works for Environment and Climate Change Canada as a water resources engineering intern.
Before returning to Canada in 2020, Sheila worked as a water resources consultant and researcher with Deltares based in Utrecht, Netherlands for more than four years. Her career, studies and volunteerism have taken Sheila all over the world, with experience in Asia, Europe, North America and South America including seven different countries in Latin America. She is a polyglot who speaks English and French fluently, is professionally proficient in Spanish and speaks German, Dutch and Catalan with some proficiency.
As a volunteer, Sheila has been a trip leader for Habitat for Humanity International, President of the EuroAquae Alumni Association, and is an Emergency Response Team Responder with the Canadian Red Cross.